Jordan is a relatively small country dependent largely on services, foreign aid and tourism. There are approximately 1,350 horses and donkeys in and around Petra, with 700 working regularly in the Petra Park.

They are used to transport tourists in and around the site. They suffer from a range of welfare issues, particularly lameness, wounds, hoof problems, serious injuries, poorly fitting harnesses, overloading, whipping, mistreatment and overworking. These problems are worse for carriage horses and donkeys. Lack of access to water and the shortage of trained vets also impact animals’ welfare in Petra.

In March 2010, the Brooke transferred the responsibility for running the veterinary clinic to the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan and signed an agreement with the Ministry to make sure that local veterinary care for horses and donkeys in Petra will still be available.

The Brooke continues to work with government vets, providing training and information to ensure a good quality service. With the Ministry of Agriculture offering veterinary care, the Brooke has been able to develop a different type of support for horses and donkeys and their owners in Jordan, with a focus on education, training and raising awareness to improve the handling and management of horses and donkeys.

The Brooke also continues to work with and influence key stake holders empowering them to take up their responsibilities towards working animals’ welfare. Recently we have been working more closely with the Petra Archaeological Park authority on a tourism awareness campaign that they have in-return taken the lead on. This campaign aims to achieve real and lasting improvements to the welfare of working animals – improving conditions and practices such as handling and care; in addition to two other core issues within the park.

We kindly request you to file any complaints or concerns you may have on working animals’ welfare in Petra to these two below government bodies as this will help us in achieving our goal.

Petra Park Authority

Jordan Tourism Board


 Read the latest blogs about Jordan here and here 

Jordan at a glance

  • We reached over 1,200 working horses, donkeys and mules in 2011-12.
  • A number of harmful practices such as nostril slitting and firing have been eradicated.
  • The programme underwent a change in 2010, as local stakeholders took on more responsibility.

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